France to recognize Palestinian state at UN

Associated Press Modified: November 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012
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In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said France's decision wouldn't change the U.S. assessment of the Palestinian action as a "mistake."

"With regard to France and any other countries, we obviously disagree with our oldest ally on this issue," she told reporters. "They know that we disagree with them. But it's their sovereign decision."

As French lawmakers applauded Tuesday— many of them members or allies of the Socialist-led government — Fabius cautioned against raising Palestinian hopes too high.

"But, but, but, but, but — but at the same time, madame and monsieur lawmakers, we must show in this case a lot of lucidity," he said.

"On the one hand, because the text is currently being discussed, and I myself had (Palestinian) President Mahmoud Abbas on the phone yesterday morning," he said. "On the other hand, because — let's not hide from this — that this question will be asked at a very delicate moment."

He went on to note the "fragile cease-fire" after the recent deadly fighting between Hamas and Israel, the Israeli election in January, and the upcoming "change in composition of the American administration" — with the United States seen by many as perhaps the most pivotal player in the region.

"In any case, it's only through negotiations — that we ask for without conditions and immediately between the two sides — that we will be able to reach the realization of a Palestinian state," Fabius said.

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Associated Press writer Bradley Klapper contributed from Washington, D.C.